When did you start writing fanfic? What motivated you to start writing?
I published my very first fanfic on February 4th 2014. A couple of friends of mine, Patti Carhart and Melissa O'Rourke, convinced me that I could do it after we dialogued about all the amazing symbolism, technique, characterizations, and plot development the show had while in the Queer as Folk USA Lovers chat on FB. But when we took it a step further and discussed what we would have liked to have seen done differently, the idea wouldn't leave me alone. So here I am, just about 13 fics (some still in progress) later and still writing (and in some cases re-writing) my own happy endings within the fandom.
Have you written for other fandoms? If so, which ones?
No. QAF is the only one I write in for now.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading fics?
Writing my original fiction, reading every other thing I can get my hands on in whatever genre comes to mind, and feeding my SKIN Wars, Tiny House Big Living, and Chopped addictions. I binge watch other TV programs about 2 days a month, usually after a season is over. I'm also a mom of 2 with special needs so a lot of my time is taken up caring for them no matter how (almost) grown they are.
What is your favorite QAF fanfic story?
There are so many that it wouldn't be fair to name them all. But if I had to go with one that gives me everything I need - angst, drama, some humor although few and far between - and a satisfying resolution, it would be Cynical21's Timeless. It was a damn hard read but so worth every single emotion it pulled out of me.
What is your favorite story that you have written?
That's a hard one because I never release anything that I'm not completely happy with, but I would have to say Time's Up Volume I: It's Only Time. It was my first completed story and proved to me that I could really do this type of writing with style, flair, and as much, if not more, passion that my M/F work. M/M was definitely a new area for me to tread. All In and Life in Lyrics are a close second.
Do you remember the first QAF fanfic that you read?
It was Simply Sexual by Tagsit, followed immediately by Prego Stud (as in 3 hours later). Talk about opposite sides of the spectrum!! LOL. They were addictive and there was no way I was sleeping without finishing those stories.
Who is your favorite character to write about? Who is your least favorite character to write about?
Believe it or not, my favorite character to write is Justin. I love to make him as strong of a character as I perceived his potential to be. Writing Brian comes naturally and easy for me because we are very similar in nature, but Justin stretches my writing chops. There were so many facets to his character and it gives me great pleasure to show them all. I also love developing Vic, Emmett, Ted, Daphne, and Cynthia's roles which I felt were severely under-utilized to their full potentials.
My absolute least favorite character to write about is Michael. But every story needs a villain and he is my favorite one to torment, especially when I hear his voice in my head. It's like I have to write him to get him out of my psyche as quickly and efficiently as possible in order for me to restore order inside my mind. Even now I'm cringing as I hear that ‘Hey' he says...YIKES! Anyway, while my work may not be a full-on Anti-Michael fic (like with Mr. and Mr. Taylor-Kinney), it will never be favorable to him either. I simply did not like his character persona.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Within the fandom: Tagsit (TAG), charming1 (Nancy), Lorie, confused_bliss (Janet), 7WildWaysUp (Kathleen), NoChaser (Roni) and GaleAndRandy (Rory), Conzieu, and my latest obsessions are MissMerlot and Starlight. Yeah.... I'm guilty of total fangeek moments when I see an update from them, LOL.
As for outside of the fandom: Eric Jerome Dickey, AE Via (MM writer), Carl Weber, Max Vos (MM writer), E. Lynn Harris (MM writer), Bertrice Small, Stephen King, and Anne Rice are the authors I read the most.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I guess you could say that I am a drama and angst queen (in a good way) so I stick with those mostly. I've also been stretching my gift by learning to write Action sequences, which has been and continues to be an amazing experience.
Do reviews motivate you? If not, what is your prime motivation to write?
Of course reviews motivate me but they aren't the reason why I write. I do it because I can't NOT write. It's as natural and necessary for me as breathing. It's my sanity and my sanctuary. The reviews and the read counts let me know that other people appreciate what I do and are invested in my work. My only job is that I stay true to the story that the characters are "telling." Everything else which comes with that is an added bonus!
Is there anything about your writing you don't like or wish you could do better?
There's always something that I wish I could do better in hindsight. For me, slow build-ups are a constant issue. In RL I'm known as a fixer and am very action-oriented. With writing, it's hard for me not to take that approach. It requires more patience than I am known for and more diligence in weaving the sequence of events seamlessly together to form a vivid picture in the mind of my audience. I'm always striving to improve these things so that I can become a more complete and unique author.
Any advice to other writers or newer writers out there?
Quite a few things I would say actually:
Do not take your gift of writing for granted. Work as hard on it as you do in every other facet of your life. Yes writing is fun, but being able to write a poem, one-shot, short story, novella, novel, or an epic is a gift and it deserves to be cultivated. Nurture your gift as you would a child and remember that small steps breed big changes. Set aside time to form your gift. Yes we're all busy and it doesn't have to be very long - five minutes or five hours - it doesn't matter. But it is important to establish a routine, a sacred time that's just for you and your gift. Read, write, and then READ some more. One thing you will find is that the more you read, the more your own writing style grows and changes- it matures.
Tell the story exactly how it is "presented" to you. Although there are reviewers who will sometimes make suggestions that you change your story to suit their ideals and ideas, don't do that. You will end up doing a disservice to your characters and ultimately the story will fall flat. Welcome different points-of-view, challenges, and ideas that enhance your current plot, but if it deters you from the original mold of your story, learn how to disregard the idea for now but hold it in the bank for a later time. We as writers tend to hold a wealth of ideas and knowledge to draw from through all of our experiences.
Know when the scene/story is over. Don't get so caught up in the word count or drag a scene on forever and ten years if there really isn't a point to do so. That said, if you're going to use objects in a scene, make sure they serve a purpose somehow.
Know that you are amazing just for doing this. Artists in general (and yes writers ARE artists as well) are generally sensitive about our work. Regardless of what anyone says, you have managed to do what few have. You put yourself in a vulnerable place all the while trusting in yourself and your ability. Celebrate yourself for that!!
What's your writing process? i.e. Do you outline an entire series before starting, or just start writing and see where it takes you?
I actually do a little of both. I always start with 5 major plot points that consists of who the main characters are, their motivations, their conflicts, their goals, and the resolution. Everything else that happens between those 5 things is completely natural, including the characters' relationships and their reactions to situations happening around them. I let the characters come alive, let them breathe and grow, then let them shape their own destinies. Consider me the Mysterious Marilyn of fanfic. They write the script and I just type the lines, LOL.
What new stories or projects do you have in the works?
A million and five things, it seems. Outside of QAF I am writing two series, but inside QAF the ideas just keep flowing! I have a lot of WIPs open right now but that's simply because my brain refuses to stop churning out chaos. And thanks to the new plot bunny feature on KD, I have this compulsion to look at it every other day. A lot of my subplots within the stories that I've written have come from other wonderful writers and readers who I dialogue with daily. Now that MMTK has been put to bed (no pun intended, LOL), it's time to refocus on finishing Volume II and the others. There are also two more which should get started soon - the one-shot sequel to All In, and a work tentatively titled Before I Let Go which has all four couples having some major issues and end up required to take anger management and couple's counseling sessions. It's based on the plot bunny given by Deb Tanner about a partner-free weekend. See what I mean about those mind-invading mammals? They sure do morph and multiply with the same speed and frequency as their real life counterparts. LOL HAPPY READING Y'ALL!